It’s Father’s Day! Things we thought we’d share…

Some scholars believe that the origin of Father’s Day can be traced to the ruins of Babylon where a young boy called Elmesu carved a message in clay wishing his father good health and a long life. There is also the suggestion that Father’s Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the Sun as the father of the universe. Father’s Day in some countries is on the third Sunday of June, which is close to the June Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

The modern practice of celebrating Father’s Day is said to have originated in the USA in the early 1900s and spread to countries such as Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and India,  though it is celebrated on different dates.

Many Australians observe Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September. It is a day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and father figures. Father figures may include grandfathers, stepfathers, fathers-in-law, guardians (e.g. foster parents), and family friends.

There is an increasing body of research that supports the importance of father figures in the lives of developing, growing children and according to recent research;
‘When fathers are involved with their children’s literacy education from a young age, their children demonstrate increased cognitive abilities, higher self-esteem and greater social competence’ (Ortiz 2000).

Professor Bruce Robinson, 2013 Western Australian of the Year and founder of The Fathering Project, has completed significant research into the fathering role and the importance the father figure has on childhood development. Bruce said ‘…fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school’.
featured_8In recognition of the important role Dads play in their children’s literacy levels, the Dads Read initiative was developed by the State Library of Queensland in 2010 and now works closely with the State Library of South Australia. The initiative’s stated objective says:
‘Dads Read recognises that fathers reading to their children strengthens literacy, models positive reading behaviour and builds children’s self-esteem around reading (especially for boys).’

A key component in the Dads Read initiative is the encouragement and support for fathers to spend shared reading experiences with their children. According to the website, reading to children just 10 minutes each day is all it takes to make a difference.

If you are looking for books on parenting, you might like to try some of these:
Sam de Brito,, No tattoos before you’re thirty : what I’ll tell my children
Susan Kantor, Read-aloud African-American stories : 40 selections from the world’s best-loved stories for parent and child to share
Harry H. Harrison, Jr., Father to son : life lessons on raising a boy
Ian Grant, Fathers who dare win : 30 ways to be an awesome Dad
If you are looking for books on reading and early literacy
Alice Ozma,
The reading promise : my father and the books we shared
Heather McNeil, Read, rhyme, and romp : early literacy skills and activities for librarians, teachers, and parents
Laurie Lind Makin, Live, love and learn : how young children learn to speak, read and write through everyday life with you
Angela Macmillan, A little, aloud, for children : an anthology of prose and poetry for reading aloud
Caroline J. Blakemore and Barbara Weston Ramirez, Baby Read-Aloud Basics: Fun and interactive basics to help your little one dicover the world of words
Let’s read [DVD]: a simple guide to reading with your child

If you are simply looking for some books for Dads and children to enjoy sharing, try some of these:
Neil Gaiman, The day I swapped my dad for two goldfish
Aimed at primary school aged children, a boy travels far and wide to track down his father. His little sister had warned him that he’d be in trouble once their Mum found out he’d traded his Dad.
Janeen Brian, I spy My Dad
A wonderful frolic through the many types of Dads out in our community.
Katrina Germein, My dad thinks he’s funny
What funny things does your dad say? An amusing exploration of “Dad humour”
John Flannery, Beard Boy
Ben desperately wants to grow a beard so he can be just like Dad. Can he wait until he’s twenty something?
Meredith Costain, Daddies are Awesome
Lots of romping Daddy dogs and all their frolicking pups being awesome in so many different ways.
Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Me and My Dad
Matt Ottley’s illustrations make this book stand out. A boy and his dad spend a day at the beach. Dad is brave and makes exploring the beach safe and sometimes boys can be brave too.
To find more books to share go to:
I spy

So, Happy Father’s Day to all fathers and father figures, and…
Happy Reading!


Reviews: Melina Healey


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